Can I first congratulate you for clicking on a link with the word “salad” in the title. I know that must have been hard to do. You probably skimmed over pictures with delicious foods, stacks of burgers topped with delicious bacon and melted cheese, or maybe there were some ooey gooey cookies, french toast coated in icing sugar and fruit compote or some other amazing creation that looks just as enticing. Anyone would have been tempted to look at those photos but not you! Instead, you clicked on my link, bringing you here with me to talk about…..salad? I’m impressed and a little flattered!
When I was a kid, I can remember devouring mangoes every chance I got. One Easter weekend, I can remember my brother and me, eating an entire case of mangoes at breakfast, our sticky fingers dripping with mango juice and the pulp getting stuck in our teeth. We’d wipe our mouths with our sleeves and start on the next mango. We loved it! As an Indian family, we grew up on mangoes and anything with mango in it. So of course, this salad was right up my alley.
Biting into this salad, you’ll immediately notice the amazing balance of sour, sweet, salty and spicy. Mango slices, slightly tart and sweet, fresh herbs and spicy Thai chillies are tossed with a dressing made up of salty fish sauce, sweet honey (or palm sugar) and sour lime juice. Crunchy peanuts add on just the right amount of flavour and wrap up this dish perfectly. If you can manage to actually serve this dish to your guests without eating it straight out of the bowl yourself (which I might have done…), then enjoy watching them as they experience the flavours in this salad as their eyes dilate and mouths salivate with pure enjoyment.
A few notes about Thai mango salad:
- While the traditional salad calls for Thai green mangoes (which are tart and crunchy), I used ripe mangoes that were hanging out in my kitchen. You can use unripe mangoes, ripe mangoes or even leftover frozen mango from your freezer!
- You can add dried shrimp to this dish for added saltiness and flavour, but I couldn’t find it in the market and decided to forego the mini salty shrimp.
- Chop the herbs really fine so that the herbs cling to every mango slice.
- I used honey for added sweetness, but palm sugar is used in more traditional recipes.
- I topped off the salad with fried shallots. You definitely don’t have to do this, but it’s so delicious and I couldn’t resist.
- 2 mangoes, julienned
- ½ red pepper, julienned
- ½ green pepper, julienned
- ½ cup of bean sprouts
- 1 red chilli, sliced thinly
- handful of herbs (cilantro, basil), chopped finely and reserve 1 tsp of chopped herbs for garnish
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped, reserve 1 tbsp for garnish
- crushed peanuts
- oil for frying
- Julienne the peppers and mango. Place in a large bowl and add the bean sprouts, sliced red chilli and green onions.
- Chop the herbs finely and toss in the bowl with the mango and vegetables.
- Make the dressing by adding the garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey and lime juice into a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.
- Heat oil in a small sauce pan. When it's hot enough, add the shallots and cook in the oil until they turn golden brown. Remove the shallots from the oil and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.
- Place the salad on a serving plate and garnish by adding the remaining herbs, green onion, and crushed peanuts. Top with the fried shallots and serve!